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York Minster's Choral Scholars - In concert

27 Feb, 2018

Article by Sharon Atkinson

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The extraordinary vocal range of York Minster’s current choral scholars will be showcased in a free concert taking place in the cathedral’s North Transept on Saturday 3 March at 7.30pm.

Each member of the young, super-talented quartet – George Clark, David McGregor, Jack Harberd and Chris Murphy – already has an impressive portfolio of achievements as both musicians and performers. These include TV and radio performances with acclaimed vocal ensembles such as Robert Hollingsworth’s I Fagiolini, and Schola Cantorum of Oxford, numerous concert and opera performances, solo recitals at internationally renowned festivals such as Aldeburgh, roles in musicals such as Oliver! and Little Shop of Horrors, and even singing backing vocals for pop superstar Kylie Minogue.  The quartet will be accompanied on the chamber organ by Jeremy Lloyd, Assisting Organist at York Minster, and on the piano by Timothy Hone, Music and Liturgy Manager at York Minster.

Choral Scholars at York Minster are paid, student singers who are seeking to develop their experience in church music.  They sing alongside the choir’s seven Songmen, paid, professional singers committed to maintaining and developing musical standards at the cathedral.

The concert programme will include Britten’s Canticle Abraham and Isaac, English songs, and a group of close-harmony arrangements.

Meet the performers

George Clark (bass baritone)

George grew up in Cornwall and began singing as a chorister at Truro Cathedral becoming a bass choral scholar in his upper-sixth year. George is a final year undergraduate at York University, studying as a bass baritone. During his time at university he has directed and performed in various productions with the university’s opera society and also played violin. He is the current leader of the university’s Symphony Orchestra. He has performed live on BBC TV’s Newsnight with I Fagiolini, the British vocal ensemble founded by Robert Hollingsworth. Recent performances include bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Sage Gateshead with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and in Finzi’s Let Us Garlands Bring with the University Chamber Orchestra. He is currently a member of Genesis Sixteen.

David McGregor (alto)

David began playing piano at aged five before taking up the clarinet, saxophone and singing. As a teenager, he competed in music festivals, played in orchestras, jazz bands and chamber ensembles.  After secondary school in Cumbria, he read music at Girton College, Cambridge, where he was awarded both academic and choral scholarships. He was granted the opportunity to sing solos Bach’s St. John Passion alongside prestigious evangelist Nicholas Mulroy. David’s time at university fostered a love of choral singing which brought him back to the north of England in order to be choral scholar at York Minster, a post for which he is very grateful.

Jack Harberd (tenor)

Jack developed his love of singing at the age of two. He is currently studying music at York University. He has toured and recorded with numerous choirs, notably Schola Cantorum of Oxford and I Fagiolini. He has performed as a soloist at Aldeburgh Festival and as a backing singer for Kylie Minogue. Jack has explored all kinds of musical opportunities at university, including operas, musicals, and joining the university A Capella group, Vox. Stage credits include Billy Crocker in Anything Goes, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors and Henrick Egermann in A Little Night Music. He has also produced and directed university productions of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Play On, a student-devised piece of music theatre. Jack is moving south to pursue a career in TV production.

Chris Murphy (bass baritone)

Chris started singing aged 10 when he took to the stage as Oliverin Jam theatre’s production of Oliver! He quickly found a passion in choral singing in Taplow choirs and other local choirs. After school Chris took a gap year to sing with the choir of Southwark Cathedral, a year which inspired him to read music at York University where he has enjoyed singing with a wide variety of groups performing a wide range of repertoire. Chris has taken part in a variety of productions including ballet, musicals and opera. Chris would like to pursue a career in opera one day.

Jeremy Lloyd (chamber organ)

Jeremy Lloyd is the Assisting Organist at York Minster where he accompanies the Minster Choir on a regular basis as part of the daily round of services.  Jeremy joined York Minster in September 2016, having previously held positions at Peterborough Cathedral, The London Oratory, and Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music with first class honours, and is in demand throughout the UK as a solo performer and accompanist.

Timothy Hone (piano)

Born in Leicestershire, Timothy Hone was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge where he was Organ Scholar. He was appointed Sub-Organist at Leeds Parish Church in 1980, moving to a similar post at Coventry Cathedral in 1982. During his time there he performed the complete organ works of J S Bach and appeared as soloist in a broadcast concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

In 1987, Tim was appointed Director of Music at Newcastle Cathedral. Under his direction, the choir performed with the London Festival Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia, appeared on radio and television and made two recordings. His interest in the interface between liturgy and music led to post-graduate study for an MA in Liturgy and Music at University of Leeds, which he was awarded with Distinction in 2001.

He moved to the Department of Liturgy and Music at Salisbury Cathedral in 2002. In January 2015, he took up the post of Music and Liturgy Manager at York Minster. Later that year he was also appointed Director of Music at the city centre Guild church of All Saints, Pavement. Tim continues to combine these duties with activity as organ soloist, continuo-player, and accompanist.

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